|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2012)|
Monito Island, Puerto Rico
Monito Island (Puerto Rico)
|Area||.147 km2 (0.057 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||65 m (213 ft)|
|Barrio||Isla de Mona e Islote Monito|
|Density||0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)|
Monito Island (‘Little Mona’) is an uninhabited island about 5 kilometers northwest of the much larger Mona Island. Monito is the masculine diminutive form of Mona in Spanish. It is one of three islands in the Mona Passage, and part of the Isla de Mona e Islote Monito barrio, a subdivision of the municipality of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. It is inaccessible by sea, barren, reaches 65 m (213 ft) in height, and measures 0.147 km² (0.0566 sq mi, or 36.25 acres) in area.
Flora and fauna
The flora of Monito Island consists of 37 species, 36 genera, and 23 families; the largest families are Cactaceae, Poaceae and Malvaceae. The low number of species, less than 9% of the number for Mona Island, is due to several factors: Monito’s small size, less than 0.3% of the area of Mona; its low habitat diversity, in particular the absence of beach habitat, depression (bajuras), etc.; and a scarcity of exotic species. At the same time nesting birds, specially the Brown Booby, cause disturbance. The weedy taxa found are associated with openings among the shrubs where birds are nesting. The absence of readily dispersed species common in Mona’s plateau vegetation (orchids, for example) is notable.
The southern and western portions are relatively flat and the highest elevations are toward the northeast, with a maximum of 63 m near the northeastern corner. A north-south fissure extends through the lowlands on the south side. The island is covered by a low shrubby vegetation dominated by Capparis flexuosa with some small emergent trees of Ficus citrifolia, Pithecellobium unguis-cati, and Guapira discolor. The many sea birds nesting on the island no doubt contribute a good deal of nutrients to the plants.
The Monito Gecko, an endangered species, is unique to the island.
- Monito Island: Block 1041, Block Group 1, Census Tract 815.12, Mayagüez Municipio, United States Census Bureau
- Monito Island summary from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Department of Biology Herbarium